Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Fat is Flavor!

It's true.  And I won't have it any other way.

My daughter had her 18 month old check-up a few weeks ago, and she's risen from the 3rd all the way to the 8th percentile - woohoo!  Dr. Bell asked about breastfeeding and cow's milk - both of which my daughter drinks without a problem - and clarified that she should only be drinking whole cow's milk.  That was very important.  I laughed out loud, and told him we girls were a whole everything kind of family.  He looked at us all, smiled, and said: "With you girls, that's probably just fine."

See?  Fat doesn't mean fat.  (Not that it didn't boost my ego just a little bit.)  But fat is healthy - and flavorful and good.  And you can't keep me away from it!  Given the choice between a "healthy" version and a full-fat, take a guess at which one I go for...  FATTY-FAT-FAT!!  Because ten times out of ten, it will taste better.  And what's more?  Your body compensates by telling you that you're full sooner.  I'd rather have less of something wonderful than more of something gross.  Wouldn't you?

Things you can always find in my fridge: heavy cream, whole milk, real butter, cream cheese, some kind of Italian cheese, and bacon.  Always.  (And even though she's a constant and great eater, my daughter is still only in the 8th percentile.  See?!)

And realize, that in my recipes, I always, always mean the following:
milk = whole milk
butter = butter!!  (not margarine, butter spread, or anything else)
cheese, cream cheese, etc. = full fat versions of these things
heavy cream = heavy cream (not half & half)

So here's a recipe with three of my staple ingredients, cream cheese, Italian cheese, and bacon.  (And really, what isn't better with these things?)  It was a hit at the party - which means there's only a measly peasly bit left.... my apologies for the crummy picture.  But take it to heart that it just means it's great.  Really great.

Spinach-Artichoke Dip With Bacon
Preheat oven to 325*

In a stand mixer, combine:

  • 16 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 9 ounces chopped spinach (frozen is fine)
  • 1 can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped 
  • 6+ slices cooked bacon

Pour into a serving dish - I use an 11" tart pan - and sprinkle with more Parmesan and bacon.  Bake for 25 minutes.  Serve immediately with crackers of your choice.